§ Lord Denham
My Lords, with the leave of the House, I should like to say a brief word about the length of speeches in today's debate on Libya, to which your Lordships have agreed to apply a five-hour time limit. The usual practice is for the opening speaker to be allowed 20 minutes and for the Minister to rise to reply not less than 25 minutes before the end of the debate; but I think that on this occasion the House may feel that the opening speakers for the official Opposition and the Alliance should have a slightly more generous ration. This could be achieved if all other speakers would limit their remarks to between seven and eight minutes. In parenthesis, I think I should emphasise that the figure "eight" should not therefore be allowed to appear on the clock! If any noble Lord should speak at greater length, he would be doing so at the expense of subsequent speakers in the debate.